Australia Student visas are available for internationals who want to study there. In order to qualify for a visa subclass 500, applicants must follow the guidelines of the Immigration Office.

What Are the Requirements for a Student Visa in Australia?

For an Australian student visa (subclass 500) application you must submit these documents:

  • Passport. Applicants who want a student visa for Australia should submit a valid passport issued by your current country of residence/birth country. You may also be required to submit a copy of your national ID and driver’s license.
  • Recent Photograph and Biometrics. You must also submit recent identity photographs and biometrics. The Immigration Office will let you know if they need your fingerprints.
  • Student Visa Application Form. The application form for a student visa has to be filled in, signed, and submitted with the rest of the required documents.
  • Age Requirements. Students must be 6 or older to apply for the subclass 500 visa. Moreover, students have to be a certain age when they begin your primary, secondary, or tertiary education:
    • Younger than 17 years old when they begin year 9 of school.
    • Younger than 18 years old when they begin year 10 of school.
    • Younger than 19 years old when they begin year 11 of school.
    • Younger than 20 years old when they begin year 12 of school.
  • Evidence of Study Program. When you apply for a student visa in Australia you have to submit a Confirmation Letter of Enrollment (CoE) for all of the courses you plan on taking during your study programme. Your CoE has to be submitted before your visa is granted. Remember that your CoE expires and it’s your responsibility to make sure that you have a valid CoE during your stay otherwise your student visa may be canceled.
    • If you are taking more than one study course, you must submit all of CoE pertaining to those study courses. If you don’t, then your visa will be valid only for that study course. You are allowed to take 2 or more courses as long as the classes have a gap of at least two months between them and one course leads to the second one.Instead of a CoE, you need to submit a letter of support if you belong to one of these categories:
      • A student sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
      • A student sponsored by the Department of Defence.
    • If you are a secondary exchange student, then you must submit an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student Form.
    • Postgraduate research students who are required to remain in Australia for their thesis have to provide a letter from their education provider.
  • Parental Consent. If you are bringing a child under 18 years old with you, and one of the parents is not accompanying the child to Australia, then there should be a parental consent form attached to the visa application.
  • Civil Documents. You have to provide documents such as; your birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce papers, adoption papers, including evidence of your relationship with a partner. If you changed your name, you must also provide a certificate verifying your name change.
  • Health Insurance. Students need to have adequate health insurance for their Australia visa application. Student applicants and their family members must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSCH). The insurance must be valid from the day students arrive in Australia and not from the date their courses begin. Students must get OSHC from an approved provider and then pay for the insurance policy, if applicants don’t have health insurance they may not be allowed to enter Australia. Students may be exempted from health insurance if:
    • They are Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.
    • They are a Swedish student covered by Kammarkollgiet.
    • They are a Belgian student under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia.
  • Evidence of Financial Capacity. You must provide:
    • Enough financial funds to support your travel costs, 1 year of living in Australia, and enough funds to cover your tuition fees (including funds to cover family members).
    • Proof that family members will financially support the applicant during your study programme. The family members must have an annual income of at least AUD 62,222 for single students and AUD 72,592 for students who have other family members with them.
    • Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student Form for exchange students.
    • A letter of support from either the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence.
  • English Language Certification.
  • Character Requirements. Students who want to study in Australia have to meet the requirements for good character laid out by the Australian authorities.
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant. Students must provide a written statement stating their intention to study temporarily in Australia. The genuine temporary entrant requirement is important because it shows the Immigration Office that you don’t intend to overstay after your visa expires.
  • Employment History. You must also submit documents proving your employment. This could include a recent contract or a current contract if you are working at the moment, you may also submit your updated CV. In case you have been studying until now, you can submit a copy of your transcripts.  This requirement is not applicable to students who are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence, or secondary exchange students.
  • Form 157N. This form is required only for students younger than 18 years of age. They have to provide a nomination form in order to take a guardian with them to Australia (see below).
  • Australian Values Statement. Future students in Australia have to sign an Australian values statement confirming that they will uphold all the Australian values and laws.
  • Authorised Recipient Form. If someone else is helping you with your application you must submit this form. In case you have a migration agent helping you, then include this form. You may also write a letter and upload it to your ImmiAccount explaining why you need help and who is helping you.

English Language Certification Requirements for Australia Student visa

Students may be required to submit evidence of sufficient knowledge of the English language:

Language Test Providers Minimum Acceptable Score
International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 5.5
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)- internet-based test. 46
Cambridge English Advanced Certificate. 162
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE). 42
Occupational English Test B for each tested aspect

These students may be exempted from the language requirement:

  • Citizens from the; UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Republic of Ireland.
  • Applicants who are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or Department of Defence.
  • Applicants who are secondary exchange students.
  • Applicants who are enrolled in a course of study that is a registered school course.
  • Applicants that are registered in a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students.
  • Students who are registered in a course that is delivered in a language other than English.
  • Applicants who have completed at least 5 years of study in any of these countries: UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or Republic of Ireland.
  • Applicants who held a student visa and have completed either the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in Australia or an important course of study (in English) leading to a qualification at level IV or higher, from the Australian qualifications framework- at least two years before their application.

How to Apply for a Student Visa in Australia?

Students have to follow this application procedure:

  1. Create your ImmiAccount.
  2. Assemble the required documents.
  3. Pay the visa fee for subclass500.
  4. Apply for the subclass 500.

Create Your ImmiAccount

An online visa application has to be completed through an ImmiAccount. If you don’t have one, then create an account and start your application process. After you create an ImmiAccount, fill in the visa application form for your student visa.

Assemble the Required Documents

Start assembling the required documents. All of the records have to be in English or translated into English. See here how to certify your documents.

Pay the Visa Fee for Subclass 500

An Australia student visa costs AUD 630. However, the application fee is liable to change depending on whether you are bringing dependents with you during your study programme. It’s important to pay the visa fee as soon as possible. The Australian authorities won’t take your application into consideration unless you complete the visa application fee. For online applications, you submit the fee through the ImmiAccount.

Apply for the Subclass 500

If you’ve completed your documents and your visa fee, you can submit your student visa application. As soon as a decision has been made the Immigration Office will let you know in writing of their decision.

How Long Is a Student Visa Valid For in Australia?

A student visa in Australia is usually valid for up to 5 years. If your study course lasts less than that, your visa will be valid for the duration of your studies. In specific cases, you may be eligible for a visa extension.

Australia Student Visa Processing Time

The usual processing time for higher education is 4 months. However, the processing time for a student visa can last anywhere from 3 months to a year. It will depend on what your study purpose in Australia is.

Australia Student Visa Cancelation

A student visa 500 can be canceled by the Department of Foreign affairs if the student fails to meet the visa conditions:

  • Limited Amount of Work. Students are allowed to work only a specified number of hours.
  • Course Requirements. Visa holders are required to remain enrolled in their study course, attend the course regularly, and courses should not have gaps between them for more than two months (unless there are extenuating circumstances).
  • Remain in the Same Course. Students are not allowed to change their course of study without the permission of the Minister. Additionally, students can’t change their thesis or research topic without approval from the Minister.
  • Have Valid Insurance. Foreigners who are in Australia with a student visa should maintain valid health insurance during their visa validity.
  • Have Valid CoE. Students are in charge of keeping their Confirmation of Enrollment up-to-date. Their educational providers will issue their CoE.
  • Maintain Educational Arrangements. Visa holders that have underage children with them must maintain adequate educational arrangements for the minors.
  • Have Valid Welfare Arrangments. Students under 18 are required to have adequate welfare arrangements or have a student guardian accompanying them. See how to apply for a student guardian visa.
  • Update Personal Details. Once a student has received their visa, they should let their educational provider know their address in Australia within 7 days of arriving in Australia. If the address changes, students are obliged to update their details.
  • Not Be Disruptive. Students must not engage in any activities that may cause disruption, violence, or harm themselves or those around them. One example of such activity includes involvement in extremist groups.
  • Meet the Criteria for the Visa. Visa holders must meet the same conditions that were valid at the time of the visa grant.
  • No Further Stay 8534. You can’t apply for another visa while you are in Australia unless you are applying for a visa subclass 485, 590, or a protection visa.
  • No Further Stay 8535. You can’t apply for a visa unless you are supported by the Commonwealth or a foreign government or you are applying for a protection visa.

Can I Stay in Australia After My Student Visa Expires?

If you wish to stay longer than what your student visa allows, there are some other visa options available for you:

In case your student visa expires before your graduation, you may apply for a visitor visa, subclass 600.

Can I Get Permanent Residency With a Student Visa in Australia?

Students can’t get permanent residency with their student visas. In order to gain permanent residency, students should apply for a permanent skilled work visa. Otherwise, once the student visa expires students have to leave Australia.

Can I Work With a Student Visa in Australia?

With a 500 student visa, you can work for up to 40 hours every 2 weeks. You can start working when your course starts and not when your visa is issued.

Am I Allowed to Change My Study Course?

As long as you have a study visa 500 you can’t change your study program, thesis, or research topic without the permission of the Minister. If you want to change your study course, then fill in form 1221 and email the form to the competent person in charge. The subject line for the email must be 8203/8204 assessment.

Can I Travel Abroad With a 500 Student Visa?

Yes, international students with a visa 500 can travel freely as long as their visa is valid.

Can My Family Members Come With Me on a Visa 500?

Family members can accompany international students if they are:

  • A partner.
  • A dependent child under 18 (including a partner’s children).

If your child has turned 18, they must apply for their own visa. Moreover, your family members must fulfill the character and health requirements.

Students Under 18 in Australia

International students in Australia who are under 18 years of age have to provide welfare arrangements until they mature. Welfare arrangements mean that minor students will be taken care of by relevant persons or have adequate care in place.

For welfare arrangements you must do one of the following:

  • Have a student guardian. A student guardian could be a parent, legal guardian, or a relative over the age of 21.
  • Have an arrangement of a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW). Your education provider has to approve your welfare arrangements unless you are a secondary exchange student.
  • Submit your Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student.
  • Have approved welfare arrangements from a relevant Minister. If you are a foreign Affairs or Defence student.

Your welfare arrangement must be valid up until you turn 18, even if you turn 18 before your studies start. Underage students are not allowed to enter Australia unless they have arranged for proper care.

If you are providing a CAAW, then the minimum period of welfare arrangements should be the same period as the letter of confirmation (CoE) plus seven days at the end of your enrollment or up until you become of age.

Please keep in mind that you cannot change the welfare arrangements without receiving approval from the Immigration Office.

New Policy for Australian Students

With Covid-19 measures starting to loosen up Australia has put new policies in place for international students:

  • Australia is now issuing visa 500 from outside of Australia.
  • International students may apply for a visa extension free of charge to complete their studies under their current visa if their studies were affected by Covid-19.
  • Requirements for a work visa after your studies are over will be more relaxed if students were enrolled with an Australian university and were impacted by Covid-19.